Dwyane Wade Opens Up About Basketball Retirement, His Daughter Zaya & More In Recent Interview With Sports Illustrated

As Dwyane Wade gets ready to retire his jersey and premiere the documentary about his life and career, the 38-year-old got candid about how his journey has been thus far and his views on life post-basketball.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Wade cut right to the chase, opening up about his support for his daughter Zaya and her gender identity.

When asked if the thought of being a father in support of a child within the LGBTQ+ freaked him out at all, the Miami Heat player replied, “Maybe a little bit, maybe a little bit. But, I don’t look at myself that way, you know what I mean? In most of the instances of things I’ve done, it’s been in support of people that I love, things that I’m passionate about, and then it turns into things people need in life.” He continued, “Like fatherhood, I wrote a book about fatherhood when I was going through my journey; I didn’t know how important it was going to be to other people. But I think I understand the responsibility that I have. And that my family has. And that’s not a bad thing.”

He went on to admit that his family is still learning to adapt to his daughter Zaya, who recently came out as transgender.

“We definitely take it head-on and try to be as careful as we can going through these processes. Especially the process with my daughter, because I’m still learning, my wife is still learning, my daughter is still learning. We never want to come across like we’re this perfect family. One thing my documentary shows is if I’m the face of anything, I’m the face of imperfection.”

Wade also let the publication in on his feelings about returning to Miami to partake in his jersey retirement ceremony, marking the end of his 17-year career. While he is grateful to have made it this far, he is ready to put the game behind him.

“The day of getting your jersey retired is something that, as an athlete, at some point in your life whether you was a kid or an adult, you look forward to having that opportunity because it’s a celebration of the career you had. But I’m also in this process of, hey, the basketball was the basketball, move on to the next phase,” he said.⠀

“But these moments, jersey retirement, if I’m blessed, the Hall of Fame, these moments allow you to celebrate your career with the ones you love. The journey didn’t allow you to celebrate every moment. I’m going to take these moments in because they will not happen every day anymore. I can’t hit a game-winning shot and feel the rush I can feel when I get my jersey retired.”

As expected, Wade discussed the impact that Kobe left and the urge that he feels to carry on his legacy.

“I feel even more responsibility now than I did a month ago because Kobe was leading this charge. Kobe was the leader of the new generation of; this is how you do it. Michael showed us that you could continue a legacy through sneakers. Magic showed us you can build a business through so many different outlets. Kobe was showing us that you could create stories and win an Oscar. I’m focused on being that leader Kobe was for me and for others,” he revealed.

The Miami Heat icon also offered a piece of advice to athletes who are heading towards the ends of their athletic careers.

“Retirement is not the end of your life. Retirement is the end of a chapter, but you can do these amazing things in the next chapter.

“Dwyane Wade: Life Unexpected” will debut Sunday on ESPN at 9:00 P.M.

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